weight gain on antidepressants

Keto Background

I wanted to give a little background about what made me decide to give this a try.

Read this post for the explanation about the weight gain. After trying a different medication that made me really really sick (and the doctor told me to stop it immediately), I went back on the prozac at the lowest dose possible. I haven’t gained any weight on the low dose, which is good. But I still had that pesky 10 pounds I gained last year. Oye.

Anyways. I talked to my doctor about a few things. I just have not felt like myself since I had Logan. The weight was hard to lose. I wasn’t a lucky girl who shrank back to my pre-pregnancy body with breastfeeding (NOPE I gained weight breastfeeding). I thought once I quit breastfeeding I’d lose the babyweight, but it was a hard, hard slog. I got close. I got down to 9 pounds left when I gained it all back on the prozac. So I felt particularly angry about that!

I talked to my doctor about how hard it’s been. I actually asked her about a diet drug. I know, I know. I was feeling pretty desperate. But a friend of mine had lost about 40 pounds on Contrave and I asked my doctor about it. She was willing to prescribe it for me, even though it wouldn’t be covered by insurance. I’d have to pay out of pocket (very expensive too) and I actually considered it. And then after further discussion, I decided against it.

Basically, Contrave is a combination medication of Wellbutrin (an antidepressant that I’ve had success on in the past) and some kind of opioid blocker that helps people get off drugs? At least that’s my understanding of it. It basically blocks the part of your brain that makes you crave/obsess about food and overeat. My friend said it made her have no appetite and food just didn’t seem appealing. Except when I talked to my doctor about it, the dosage of Wellbutrin in the Contrave was INSANE. I forget what it is now but it was the max dosage that you can take and way back in the day I took the max dosage of Wellbutrin and had seizures on it.

Needless to say, I decided Contrave was not for me.

It was a moment of weakness, anyways, to consider it, but I’m glad I got more information and I’m glad I made the decision for myself.

When I talked to my doctor about it and told her I wouldn’t take it, she suggested I consider the Keto diet. She said that there were a lot of people in her office doing it for the new year and being successful and happy on it. She had another doctor who was an expert in it call me and tell me more about it. She gave me some tips and ordered some blood work.

Well, last week I did two things. 1) I weighed myself for the first time since before Christmas and 2) I got my fasting glucose tested.

My official starting weight: 177.2

(Pre-prozac I was 166, my pre-pregnancy weight was 157, my goal weight is 150)

I would like to lose 20 pounds. 27 would be AMAZING. Talking to Michael, I tried to figure out what would be a realistic goal for the first month of the Keto diet. Somewhere between 4-6 pounds for the month of February? I really don’t know. I’ve never done such a severe low carb diet before. Even when I did the low-ish carb thing before, I still had a lot of carbs. I didn’t give up my coffee creamer or my fruit or my yogurt….so we’ll see.

As for the fasting blood test. I was honestly pretty surprised at how high it was:

I’m not pre-diabetic but i’m getting there. Could it be because I had the flu and didn’t work out for almost two weeks before the test? Maybe? I have no idea. I’ve made a lot of changes to my diet in the past few months (for the better) but still my fasting sugar levels are high. Too high.

So here’s to hopefully a successful go at Keto!

Medications and Weight

I’m feeling pretty down about my weight right now. I wanted to check in and share my experiences lately.

I was doing pretty good. I was to the point where I had 9 pounds to lose to get back to pre-Logan weight. I was feeling better about myself, even though it’s takenĀ forever to even get to that point.

I’ve shared in the past about my experiences with depression and taking antidepressants and the unfortunately side effect: weight gain. Well I’m back to that spot again.

A few years ago I realized that my issues are more with anxiety than depression. Yes, depression was a big issue for me in my teens and twenties but in my 30’s it’s been anxiety. Like on a scale of 1-10, I’ve been holding steady at like a 7 for anxiety! I definitely had postpartum anxiety.

After I had Logan I was sleep deprived and anxious and because of my history I was super vigilant about looking for signs of postpartum depression…so much so that I totally missed the fact that I was suffering from PPA. Mostly because it wasn’t even on my radar. People talk so much about PPD but rarely PPA. I didn’t even know it was a thing until I started to feel like I was going insane.

I was so anxious all the time. The biggest thing for me was anxiety about SIDS. I had no reason to be anxious about it but I became obsessed. To the point where I wasn’t sleeping at all in those early months. It was not a healthy situation. I talked to my therapist and she eventually said it was time to go back on my medication. So when I stopped breastfeeding at 10 months PP, I went back on my Wellbutrin.

Wellbutrin has been my go-to medication for 20+ years. It’s the one that has worked best for me and THANKFULLY NO WEIGHT GAIN. It’s basically the only one out there that honestly does not cause weight gain.

Well, good news: no weight gain for me. Bad news: the medication that has always worked in the past suddenly didn’t work — instead, it super aggravated my anxiety. I was crushed. I went off the medication per my doctor and he suggested we try Prozac.

I was reluctant to try it because I couldn’t really find a lot of information about Prozac and weight gain. My doctor said it was usually “minimal.” But I decided to try because my anxiety was so bad. It was exhausting. I started the Prozac last November and once it started working, it was like a giant weight was lifted. Suddenly my anxiety was gone. I was able to think more clearly and manage the anxiety that came up. It was really eye-opening how bad my anxiety had been.

Fast forward about 4 or 5 months and my doctor decided it was time to increase the dosage a bit.

10 pounds. That’s how much I’ve gained since taking the Prozac. It was slow at first and then the dosage increase bumped it up pretty fast. I talked to my doctor and he said that 10 pounds sounds about right for that. He still called that “minimal.” I know 10 pounds is minimal to most but it’s A LOT to me. Especially in a short time.

I’m unhappy about this, I’m frustrated. Especially considering I’d been doing so well. And then on the flipside, I keep thinking “is losing weight worth the crippling anxiety?” Or is it better to just be like this and have my anxiety under control?

I talked to my doctor and he had a few suggestions:

  1. reduce the prozac back to the lower dose and see if that helps
  2. try Cymbalta instead (the side effects seem iffy to me)
  3. try Buspar (it’s an older medication and apparently doesn’t cause weight gain–but…..who knows)

I’m honestly not sure what the right decision is. It’s clear I need something to help manage the symptoms. But…at what cost?

So that’s the update right now. I still haven’t decided.